Friday, November 30, 2007

Well of Loneliness Part II

I think that this might be one of the saddest deaths from all the books that I have ever read:

"When she had gone Jamie veered round abruptly and walked back into the empty studio. Then all in a moment the floodgates gave way and she wept and she wept like a creature demented. Bewailing the life of hardship and exile that had sapped Barbara's strenght and weakened her spirit; bewailing the cruel dispensaiton of fate that had forced them to leave their home in the Higlands; bewailing the terrible thign that is death to those who, still loving, must look upon it. Yet all the exquisite pain of this parting seemed as nothign to an anguish that was far more subtle: 'I can't mourn her without bringing shame on her name - I can't go back home now and mourn her...' "
....
And so Jamie who dared not go home to Beedles for fear of shaming the woman she loved, Jamie who dared not openly mourn lest Barbara's name be defiled through her mourning, Jamie had dared to go home to God - to trust herself to His more perfect mercy, even as Barbara had gone home before her.
...
Stephen would again and again go over those last heartrending days with Barbara and Jamie, railing against the outrageous injustice that had led to their tragic and miserable ending. She would clench her hands in a kind of fury. How long was this persecution to continue? How long would God sit still and endure this insult offered to his creation? How long tolerate the preposeterous statement that inversion was not a part of nature? For since it existed what else could it be? All things that existed were a part of nature!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Well of Loneliness - Half way point

I'm reading Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. Basically, the story of a lesbian. It was published in 1928, and the first half has been Stephen's (yes a female) experience not knowing "what" she is, but sensing that she is something very different from other girls. The scene after her mother discovers what is going on with Stephen and Angela is so very sad, but ultimately a "scene" that continues to play out in the households of many LGBT youth 90 years after the book's publication.

I have also gotten the impression, at least from the beginning of the novel, that Stephen might not just be a lesbian, but perhaps transgendered. It's not that she simply is different, and likes boyish things, but it is mentioned again and again that she wants to be a boy. Is that a common experience, not necessarily indicitive of being transgendered? I don't know...

The book is slow going, but I'm enjoying so far, and looking forward to the rest.

Other books I have finished in the last month:
Angle of Repose - could I even come close to telling you how much I disliked this book? I was really disappointed because I really thought that I would like it. Though it certainly has not been the worse that I ever read...but it's probably in the bottom 20, if not the bottom 5.

This is Not a Novel (Markson) - This was really not very much a novel, just trivia regarding the lives of famous authors and their deaths. I enjoyed it nonetheless, and I was able to finish it in a day.

Blood and Guts in High School - Ok, I'm going to tell the truth - I didn't get it. I simply didn't. Did this book have a point? I don't know that I care. I was really looking forward to Acker, as I thought that I might enjoy her. It wasn't the nontraditional narrative; it wasn't the offensive subject; I just didn't get it.

The Glass Castle - This certainly wasn't the best book that I've ever read, but I don't typically read this type of book. It was good for it's subject manner, and a fast read. Very depressing though.

Persepolis - This is a graphic novel about Iran. Not much to say about it. I'm in the middle of Persepolis 2 (the sequel), and I like it about as much as I liked the first. It's a book that I can read entirely in one sitting, but also one that I can put down for days and not really care to pick back up.

Don Quixote - I'm proud to have finished. But did I like it? Was it truly the best book EVER written? I can see the importance of it, from a historical and cultural standpoint. But I really don't know what I thought about it.

----------------Currently reading-------------------------
Persepolis 2 - Satrapi
Vanity Fair - Thackeray
Well of Loneliness - Hall
Gullivers Travels - Swift (on hold)

----------------Up Next------------------------------------
Dance to the Music of Time Vol. 1 - Powell